Array, the multi-platform media company and arts collective of filmmaker Ava DuVernay has teamed up with media company Participant, and racial justice organization Color of Change, to launch an initiative for online education, ARRAY 101. The free interactive learning guide will center around DuVernay’s critically-acclaimed Netflix series When They See Us, which depicts the wrongful arrest and incarceration of a group of black teenagers, formerly called The Central Park Five. The guide, designed for high-school-aged students, aspires to deepen conversations around the timely themes of social justice, inspiring action and change.
“I firmly believe that there must be a stronger bridge between what our industry produces and real teachers in classrooms,” said DuVernay. “The one-year broadcast anniversary of the series was the ideal time to release this social impact learning supplement and kick-off ARRAY’s upcoming study guide initiative overall.”
In addition to the collaboration, Participant and Color of Change have relaunched the Winning Justice program, providing communities information about local prosecutors’ stances on relevant policy issues, inspiring them to make a change. Their Online Prosecutor Directory will help alert communities, organizers and activists about the state of the criminal justice reform. The directory catalogues every prosecutor in all 2,372 districts across the country and makes them searchable.
“The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and countless other Black men, women, and gender non-conforming individuals have underscored just how deep racism is within the American justice system. As Color Of Change works with advocates nationwide to demand immediate justice for these Black people, we’re also focused on driving work to reform the justice system from the ground up and create real, systematic changes in our country,” said Rashad Robinson, President of Color of Change. “To do this, we launched the first-ever online prosecutor directory. Prosecutors are among the most powerful actors in our justice system. They determine who gets charged, the level of the charges, and the severity of their sentences. This tool, part of our Winning Justice campaign for prosecutor accountability, provides everyday citizens with the information that they need to hold their local district attorneys accountable to six key racial justice demands and take action in every community nationwide.”
Asked how we can leverage the current moment to create lasting change, Robinson replied, “Our nation is at a turning point where we can either lean into a failed status quo or take bold action for fairness, safety, and accountability. Police violence has cost us countless Black lives, but so many victims and their loved ones have yet to see justice. Officers have been fired, laws have been enacted and repealed, but the end result – deadly violence against Black people – has been the same. Meanwhile, instead of holding these violent officers accountable, the prosecutors meant to secure justice are abusing their authority and filling our jails and prisons with Black and Brown people, the victims of a racist and unjustly punitive system.”
The When They See Us Learning Companion is now available to educators, students, organizations and the general public free of charge, via download at ARRAY101.org
The Prosecutor Directory to make prosecutors transparent and accountable can be found at WinningJustice.Org
Participant, Color Farm Media & Magnolia’s voting rights campaign, Good Trouble, which educates the public about voter suppression and encourages civic engagement and participation, can be found here.